The news: The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) sent information requests to card networks after finding merchant fees have “increased significantly” in recent years, per the regulator's annual plan and budget.
More on this: The PSR’s plans for the year include possible interventions like price caps to remedy recent increases in cross-border interchange fees and scheme fees.
The bigger picture: There have been a slew of high-profile fee-related court cases in the UK, and Amazon only recently ended its spat with Visa over fees. Now, more than 100,000 companies plan to sue Mastercard and Visa alleging the networks charged excessively high fees on corporate credit cards.
The big takeaway: We predicted that UK regulators could toughen up on card networks as fee-related tensions threaten to bubble over.
Swipe fees will remain a point of friction between merchants and card networks. This pressure could lead networks to lower fees or cancel planned increases—or force regulators to draft new rules to clamp down on card networks and protect consumers.
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